Vacations 101

2007

Canada - what's wrong with you? Didn't you know that you're supposed to be the slightly more mature version of the United States? Yes, that's right, if you're taking anything from us, take the good stuff, don't try to improve/worsen the bad stuff!

The travel company Orbitz just published a study that shows Canada to be among the worst in vacation time used – even beating out the United States, which is known far and wide both for its stingy number of days off and the unwillingness of workers to use those days. In fact, the average Canadian uses only a paltry 10 days vacation per year.

When I meet Canadians, it seems that they like to pride themselves of being closer to Europeans than they do Americans. If that's really what they think, or strive for, they're well off the mark on this one!

Just as in the US, the study shows that employees don't like to take time off because they feel "indispensable". Undoubtedly, this false feeling is fed by management to employees – because, after all, no one is indispensable. It is also coupled with fears of falling irreparably behind in one's work - the study also showed that a third of employees keep checking their e-mail while on work. Huh?

Perhaps it's time to introduce a new class – a required course – called Vacations 101 in universities across North America. It would be a good idea to remind new recruits that while working hard and going a good job is important, so is time for self and family, as well thinking about your health – both mental and physical.

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